GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — You're working from home, your partner is working from home, your kids are going to school…you guessed it…at home.
No one feels it more than your WiFi. So, what are the most affordable ways to boost your signal? We asked Whitson Gordon, who wrote about this very thing for PC Magazine.
“The number one thing I always tell people is move the router out into the open and ideally in the center of your house,” said Gordon.
While people are always looking to hide their router, the fact is, you need to see it.
“I've known people who put their routers behind books, on bookshelves, or in baskets filled with pillows because they're ugly, we don't want to see them, but this degrades the signal just like walls and other objects do,” he explained.
This is something you can do yourself for free, but you might need your internet provider to come move the router and coaxial cable.
Also, test the speed of your internet.
“If you're not sure what kind of speeds you're getting, if it just feels slow, go to speedetest.net or fast.com and see if the speed that you're getting matches what's on your internet bill,” said Gordon.
You can always upgrade your internet, but if your WiFi signal is degraded by the time it gets to your device, then you've defeated the purpose.
So, are WiFi extenders worth the money?
“Those are cheap and they don't work super well,” he said.
Tell us how you really feel Whitson. We kid, we kid. But seriously, he has another option.
Eero runs about $250 for three pack system and Orbi will set you about $200 for a two-pack system. But, if you want to ensure you're getting the absolute best WIFI signal in every nook and cranny in your house, wire up.
“This is the Mac Daddy of all WiFi tips. The single best way to fix your WiFi woes forever is to get some ethernet wiring in your house. If you don't have ethernet you can call a professional. They can come wire your house for usually a few hundred dollars or you can do it yourself. If you can get to the crawlspace, or if you can get access to the attic, you can drop a couple of ethernet lines, it's not that hard, and wire that up to either your router or a mesh WiFi system like Eero or Netgear Orbi, and you will have this perfect WiFi signal all over your house,” said Gordon.
“No one ever wants to do it because it sounds like a hassle, but if you're going to be working from home for the foreseeable future, it's 100% worth it,” he added.
You can buy ethernet cable pretty cheap, like $15 for 100 feet from places like Best Buy, Monoprice and Amazon. A simplified bottom line.
“The mesh systems are better than the extenders and mesh systems when combined with ethernet are the absolute best of all worlds," said Gordon.